3 Major Firms Tapped to Design Dubai Expo 2020 Pavilion
In advance of Dubai Expo 2020, the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, organizers have released extraordinary plans for the event’s three central pavilions. Out of more than a dozen international firms, Bjarke Ingels Group , Foster + Partners , and Grimshaw Architects were selected to design the trio of themed structures, which will focus on sustainability, opportunity, and mobility. Set to be located on a vast 1,082-acre tract in Jebel Ali, a port nestled between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the event is expected to draw more than 25 million visitors during its run from October 2020 to April 2021.
The three themed pavilions will be located on the perimeter of the site, intended to create a smooth pedestrian flow, with walkways shaded by solar panels that will account for nearly half of the festival’s power needs. A air tram is also slated to link the three thematic zones, creating an exceptional viewing experience for visitors. The innovative designs beautifully adhere to the festival’s theme—“Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”—and fit into the overall winning master plan for the Dubai Expo 2020 developed by the architecture firm HOK . The Missouri-based firm’s plan takes design cues from traditional Arabic marketplaces , emanating from a central plaza, dubbed the Al Wasl, that will comprise a cluster of smaller exhibition spaces.
AD surveys the three themed pavilions at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020.
Based in New York and Copenhagen, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has established itself as a top choice for large-scale innovation, with projects ranging from Google’s new headquarters to a $335 million flood barrier in lower Manhattan. The firm’s design philosophy, which centers on the confluence of global trends and cultural exchange, will clearly be on display at the “Opportunity” pavilion, which puts a fresh spin on the region’s traditional courtyard-center architecture.
The sleek design, which includes a restaurant, a central courtyard, and apertures where palm trees peek through, seemingly blends into the desert landscape.
Norman Foster’s London-based practice, Foster + Partners, took inspiration from its previous designs in the region—including Dubai’s Index tower and the masterplan for Masdar City—in crafting the “Mobility” pavilion.
The gleaming trefoil-shaped structure will rise amid an illuminated plaza.
Known for devising ingenious eco-friendly structures, like the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, Grimshaw Architects will design the “Sustainability” pavilion with an eye toward reuse.
The cluster of satellite-dish-shaped structures will be repurposed after the expo as a hub to promote sustainable technologies.